Public Services
6:00 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Can This Social Media Campaign Save More Miami-Dade Public Libraries?

Demonstrators during last Saturday's library rally near the Concord branch.
Credit Mercy / Facebook/ Save the Miami-Dade Public Libraries
Read more

John O’Connor is a reporter for StateImpact Florida, a project of WLRN and WUSF covering education. John writes for the StateImpact Florida blog and produces stories for air on Florida public radio stations.

John is a former political reporter for The (Columbia, S.C.) State and the Daily Record in Baltimore. He has a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland. He was chosen as the South Carolina Press Association 2009 Journalist of the Year.

Erin Toner is a reporter for WUWM. Erin was WUWM's All Things Considered local host from 2006 to 2010. She began her public radio career in 1999 at WMUK in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Prior to joining WUWM in 2006, Toner spent five years at WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan.

During her career, Toner has served as a mentor for NPR's Next Generation Radio project, trained and mentored college students and taught a news reporting course at Michigan State University. She holds a degree in journalism from Michigan State University.

» Contact WUWM News

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Linda Gassenheimer’s “Restaurant Roundabout” 08/01/13

Linda Gassenheimer
http://www.dinnerinminutes.com/

08/01/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents is our popular “Restaurant Roundabout,” with chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer. Also with us is restaurant critic Jen Karetnik and wine columnist Fred Tasker. We’ll get the lowdown on the always-changing South Florida restaurant scene, as well as take listene

Read more
Politics
12:32 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett Resigns

Tony Bennett

Update 2:24 p.m.: Florida is looking for a new education commissioner. Tony Bennett resigned today – effective immediately – after just six months on the job.

Allegations surfaced this week that Bennett changed the school grading system in Indiana to benefit a campaign contributor while he served as that state's elected superintendent.

Bennett said the allegations were unfounded, but he decided to step down because they had become a distraction.

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Legg says Bennett did the right thing.

Read more
Politics
11:33 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Archive: A Conversation With Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett

NEW EDUCATION COMMISSIONER: Tony Bennett was Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana for one term. He lost his re-election bid in November 2012, and was appointed Florida's schools chief by Gov. Rick Scott.
Credit Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

Editor's Note:   Shortly after Tony Bennett began as the state's Education Commissioner last December, he sat down with WLRN's former StateImpact reporter Sarah Gonzalez.  They talked about his time as head of Indiana's school system and what plans he had for Florida's.  

Tony Bennett drove from Indiana over the weekend to start his first day as schools chief in Florida on Monday.

Last month the State Board of Education hired Bennett, a Republican who served as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction for one term.

Read more
Politics
11:24 am
Thu August 1, 2013

The School At The Heart Of Bennett Controversy: The Philanthropy And Philosophy Of Christel DeHaan

Christel DeHaan
Credit Matt Detrich / Indianapolis Star

Editor's Note:  On Monday, the Associated Press published emails from 2012 showing former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and his staff in Indiana discussing how to change that state's grading formula to boost the grade of an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor.

Read more
Health Care
6:44 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Curtains Open On Medicaid Managed Care In Florida

Credit medicaid.gov

More than two years after Florida lawmakers passed a controversial plan to transform the Medicaid system, it's showtime.

As of Thursday, about 9,300 central Florida residents who need long-term care --- the vast majority of them seniors --- will become the first participants in a statewide move to enroll almost all Medicaid beneficiaries in HMOs and other types of managed-care plans.

Read more
Politics
5:18 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Gov. Scott, Cabinet Expected To Approve Removal Of Bodies At Dozier

Meredith Tise, a graduate anthropology student at the University of South Florida, measures the depth of a trench dug at the site of the cemetery last May, as the university looks for signs of unmarked graves.
Credit Edmund D. Fountain / MCT/Landov

University of South Florida researchers have gone over the head of the state agency secretary who denied their request to exhume human remains from gravesites at the closed Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet are expected to approve a land-use agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection that will give the researchers one year to search for reportedly unaccounted-for bodies of boys who died between 1900 and 1952 at the one-time "high risk" reform school.

Read more
Public Services
2:02 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Six Of 22 Miami-Dade Libraries Could Be Saved From Chopping Block

Miami-Dade library supporters rally against potential budget cuts that threaten to close down 22 branches on Saturday, July 27, 2013, outside the Concord Branch Library.
Credit Alex M Sanchez / Miami Herald Staff

An updated plan for cuts to the Miami-Dade County budget would keep open six of 22 public libraries initially slated for closure.

The tentative change would save the Culmer, Lakes of the Meadows, Lemon City, Little River, Opa-locka and Shenandoah branch libraries, bringing the total number of library closures to 16.

Read more

Pages